Cree speakers will have the chance to hear a Canadian Football League (CFL) game called in their language.
The Sept. 9 game between the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders will have play-by-play provided in Cree by Wayne Jackson, who will be broadcasting to people across Alberta and online.
Speaking with MBC Radio News, Jackson explained this year’s game will not be the first time he has a called a CFL game in Cree, as he called a game last season. Jackson said he appreciated getting the chance to call that first game last season.
“I was very, very honored and very pleased that they would ask me,” he said.
Jackson, who works for Windspeaker Media as language announcer, said it can at times be challenging translating what is happening during the game in to the Cree language. However he explained the Cree language is made up of words which he described as being descriptive and is verb based when compared to the English language.
“I think when you’re describing things that are happening on the field, as you’re using the language, they become descriptive to those that understand and know the language,” he said.
Growing up Jackson’s first language was Cree. He added it was probably the only language he heard while in his mother’s womb, who at the time was living on Goodfish Lake First Nation.
“That’s her language, she spoke the language and she only spoke that language for a long time,” he said.
The Cree language broadcast of the game is something which Jackson believes will be helpful when it comes to revitalization of the language. Jackson as well called on people who are speakers of Cree to do what they can to help people in their families learn it.
“Use the language, its alive, its living, its still here with us, so that’s my encouragement to you, those of you who are speakers of the language,” he said.
Along with being broadcast in Cree the Elks Sept. 9 game against the Stampeders will also being broadcast with announcers calling the game in Blackfoot.
(Top Photo: Courtesy Edmonton Elks Twitter.)